2001 Beaucastel CDP: Disappointing Showing

We took a bottle to our favorite local French restaurant: La Provence. There was no discernible aroma of mustiness, but the wine was stripped of fruit, almost certainly due to low level TCA contamination. The following day, I opened another bottle. It was clearly different than the previous one, but was initially reticent. Over the course of several hours, the wine did open but never really bloomed into anything more than ordinary. I decided to hold half of the bottle to the following day hoping that it would show better. It didn’t but instead had faded significantly. I remember as the 1998 Beaucastel CDP aged there was significant bottle variation. One can only hope that will not be the case with the 2001.

You don’t mention the specific dates you tried this… Just so happens that Friday night to Monday morning were all root days… champagne.gif


Root cause analysis?

The Hommage was smokin hot last Sunday.

I haven’t had a bad '01 yet, but it’s been a year since my last visit. It was my first case futures purchase in my life. I’ve had plenty of bad '98’s; all my bottles seemed to turn into nasty barbecue sauce suddenly over the span of one year after drinking well for many years prior.

I’ll open one of my '01’s and post a TN here soon.

Thanks for the TN.

Uh oh. I own a few, loved it like 3 years ago (it was still very young then).

This is a wine I keep toying with backfilling.

I’ve had this wine a few times in the past couple years and it has never shown well for me.

I have sold pretty much all of my 2001 CdPs. Undrinkable mess as far as I’m concerned.

Wow, some of the 2001s have been among my favorite all-time CdPs. Especially Clos des Papes (which could be purchased for $35-$40/bottle back then), Vieux Donjon and Pegau. All three of these are drinking beautifully today. I’ve hit some bad bottles of Vieux Donjon, but I believe they were all from a single source…the majority of my bottles (including one just a few nights ago) have been terrific. (I will say that I haven’t been a big fan of any Beaucastel vintage after about the '94).

To me the “undrinkable mess” vintages were 2003 and 2007. If you didn’t like '01, what vintages (from, say '95 forward) DO you like?

Pegau is an exception (both the 2000 and 2001 are drinking very well).

I enjoyed the 98s, for example.

The 2001s have never delivered for me. It was the real start of the “big wine” era in CDP. Of course some producers did well but most of them made wines that were too tannic, alcoholic and strong to enjoy young; and that have not aged gracefully. They lack flesh and roundness. They dried out quite badly. But also (and maybe more importantly), the flavour profile is also off as far as I’m concerned. Most of the wines are dominated by unpleasant, overripe Grenache. All the complexity of CDP seems to be gone, especially the garrigue component that is nowhere to be seen in most of these wines. It’s pretty clear to me that the wines changed tremendously between 98 and 01, and not to my liking (of course YMMV). In the end I find a lot more enjoyment in lower, cheaper producers that in my opinion have stayed truer to what CDP is.

I purchased heavily in that vintage because I thought the wines had potential (Janasse, Beaurenard, Beaucastel and others) but I’ve been disappointed more often than not. I kept the Pegau because they always deliver. I have a bottle of Vieux Donjon and since it’s worth nothing right now I’ll drink it and cross fingers.